Press/Journalists

Press Release
February 16, 2005

Presidents' Day and Weekend Activities at the National Archives

National Archives has a great deal to offer for tourists and locals alike over Presidents' Day weekend, and all year long! See President George Washington's letter of congratulations to Congress regarding the Articles of Confederation. Read Abraham Lincoln's draft telegram to General Grant during the Civil War. Eavesdrop on Presidential deliberations secretly recorded in the Oval Office. Peek at home movies of former Presidents when they were children.

The National Archives is on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets NW. Exhibit hours are 10 AM - 5:30 PM daily.

Highlights:
Special display of the original Emancipation Proclamation
The document will be on display in the Rotunda Gallery from February 18-21, 2005.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, during the American Civil War, formally proclaiming the freedom of all slaves held in areas still in revolt. The issuance of this Proclamation clarified and strengthened the position of the Union government, decreased the likelihood of European support of the Confederacy and, as the Union armies extended their occupation of the southern states, brought freedom to the slaves in those states. The Proclamation invited black men to join the Union Army and Navy, resulting in the enlistment of approximately 200,000 freed slaves and free black people before the War's end.

The American Presidency: Photographic Treasures of the National Archives
Through Feb. 21, 2005
This is the last opportunity to see the very popular "American Presidency" photo exhibit that goes behind the scenes to show unexpected moments that reveal the character of our Chief Executives over the last 150 years. The exhibition, which is curated by U.S. News & World Report, showcases 40 exceptional images. They are drawn from the millions of photos in the National Archives and its Presidential Libraries' collections -- to capture not just the events of public life, but the human qualities of our leaders. These rarely-seen images reflect the work of the talented White House photographers and their access to the corridors of power.

Public Vaults (Permanent exhibition)
Journey inside the amazing world of records. The new exhibition gives visitors the sensation of going behind-the-scenes to explore among the billions of unique documents, photographs, maps, films, recordings, and objects in the Archives' holdings. Audio and video displays, computer interactives and games engage visitors of every age and interest. Over 1,000 records-originals or facsimiles of documents, photographs, maps, drawings, film or audio clips - show the "raw materials" of our American democracy.

Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom (Permanent exhibition)
See the "Big Three" - the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The seven cases leading up to the Charters include the original documents that illustrate how the Charters were created. The seven cases following the Charters mark milestones in the impact of these fundamental records of America and the world.

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For more information, please call the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 501-5526.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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